The man who scored Germany's World Cup-winning goal is to be out of action indefinitely due to a metabolic disorder. This is just the latest setback to Mario Götze's career since that triumph less than three years ago.
A day after the Bundesliga club announced that the metabolism disorder had forced Mario Götze to cease all training, Dortmund asked that the media refrain from speculation about his condition and that they respect his privacy at this difficult time.
"We wish in view of the particular interest in Mario Götze that this young person's privacy be respected," club spokesman Sascha Fligge told the SID news agency on Tuesday.
On Monday, the club announced that the metabolic disturbances that Götze is suffering from had been discovered in a "comprehensive internal investigation into the possible causes" of the muscular problems that 24-year-old attacking midfielder has been suffering from in recent months.
"I'm currently undergoing treatment and will do everything in my power to return to training and get back to helping my team to achieve our shared goals as soon as possible," Götze said in a statement on BVB's website.
This is just the latest setback that Götze has had to deal with since the high point of his career so far, when he scored the goal in extra time that delivered a 1-0 victory over Argentina in the World Cup final in Rio de Janeiro in 2014.
Götze had moved from Dortmund to Bayern Munich for a reported 37 million euros ($39 million) the previous summer and in his first season in the Bavarian capital, his career was still on an upswing, as he scored 10 goals in 27 Bundesliga appearances.
However, over his three seasons at Bayern, he never fully established himself in the starting 11, as head coach Pep Guardiola tended to favor Thiago Alcantara over Götze. After a telephone conversation late last season with Bayern's incoming head coach, Carlo Ancelotti convinced him that his chances of cracking the starting lineup on a regular basis weren't about to improve, Götze returned to Dortmund in the summer.
However, the return to the club where he established himself as an up-and-coming star, winning Bundesliga titles in 2011 and 2012, has been a disappointing one. Götze has scored just two goals in 16 appearances in all competitions for the club, which brought him up through their youth academy from the age of eight.
Coach Thomas Tuchel dropped him for Dortmund's Bundesliga win over second-placed RB Leipzig at the start of this month because of poor form, and due to a thigh muscle issue, he hasn't played since.
Dortmund have been careful to stress that they have no intention of giving up on the still relatively young midfielder.
"We are glad that we now know the reasons for Mario's problems and we are convinced that after recovering he will give us extra quality with his exceptional abilities," Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc said in a statement on the club's website.
Germany coach Joachim Löw also expressed his confidence in Götze just last week. However, it looks like the midfielder won't be part of the Germany squad that is to face England in a friendly in Dortmund on March 22.
pfd/hf (SID, AFP, Reuters)